TWO dental hygienists who have been trapped in a locked-down country, unable to leave their hotel will hopefully be able to return home in the next week.

Susan and Gil Bagnall flew to Lima in Peru on March 11. They were on holiday when with no warning the country went into lockdown inside 24 hours with no flights allowed to enter or leave without government permission.

While authorities are working ‘round the clock’ to help UK citizens get home, the Bagnalls, who work at Albert Road Dental Practice, Evesham, say the situation has been stressful.

Mrs Bagnall said: “It is completely locked down. We are just stuck in our hotel room. We are allowed to go just outside the hotel to get some fresh air but only if you have a mask. Some of the group don’t have a mask so they can’t go out and get fresh air.

“We have asked the embassy for masks.”

Mrs Bagnall said there is around 50 people in the group of tourists at the hotel and some are in their 80s. She said those on medication have been anxious about running out.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said: “We are working round the clock to make flights available next week for British people who wish to leave Peru but who are currently unable to do so on commercial flights because of the travel restrictions that have been imposed.”

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A statement from the Foreign Office said: “As most of you will know, we are chartering several repatriation flights leaving Lima in the coming week. All flights will be leaving from Lima – we are working with the Peruvian authorities to ensure they are able to reach Lima airport. British nationals will be asked to sign an undertaking to repay back a sum of approximately £250 towards the flight.”

Following a call with Peruvian foreign minister over the weekend Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I had a good conversation with my opposite number in Peru, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra. Amid all the challenges of tackling coronavirus, we committed to working together in the coming days to enable UK nationals in Peru and Peruvian nationals in the UK to return home.”

The FCO says: "Any British nationals can follow the latest information on the foreign offices’ Peru Travel Advice page, which is being updated regularly, or the Travel Advice Twitter account.

"British nationals in Peru who wish to leave and have not already been in contact with the British Embassy in Lima to register an interest in leaving Peru should contact the embassy using the email address on the Travel Advice page."

The FCO says it is not aware of any British nationals who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Peru.